On March 19, 2013 -- seven years ago today -- Kacey Musgraves released her major label debut album, Same Trailer Different Park. The record introduced country fans to a songwriting talent to be reckoned with, with the singer-songwriter's whip-smart lyrics and traditional-yet-modern sound on display from the get-go.
In honor of the Grammy Awards-winning album's anniversary, The Boot has ranked its 12 songs, from least favorite to "Play it again ... and again ... and again!" Read on to see where you favorite landed on the list.
“Dandelion” is a song with lyrics that are sadder than its music. If you don’t pay attention to the words, you might mistake it for a folk-tinged lullaby -- but listen a little more carefully, and you’ll notice that its narrator is in that step of heartbreak where everything is bad, and you’re not going to change her mind.
“It’s a waste of breath and it’s a waste of time, I know,” Musgraves sings. “‘Cause just like him, you always leave me crying / Dandelion.”
“I Miss You" sounds like early, pre-pop Taylor Swift; even its first line -- “Oh my God, it’s you” -- wouldn’t be out of place on a Swift album. But like so many Musgraves songs, it perfectly straddles the space between upbeat and contemplative. The narrator in the song has “no reason to cry,” but listeners will suspect that sometimes, she probably does anyway.
Fittingly, “It Is What It Is” closes out Same Trailer Different Park. The record has a whole flits between hopefulness and heartbreak, and this song is somewhere in between: “I ain’t got no one sleeping with me / And you ain’t got nowhere where you need to be / Maybe I love you / Maybe I’m just kinda bored / It is what it is,” Musgraves sings in the chorus. "It Is What It Is" is not quite a love song ... but also, it's not quite not.
“Back on the Map” is a simple, melancholy song about heartbreak, one that’s easy to imagine playing late at night when you’re in the mood to feel sorry for yourself.
“All this off-the-grid is getting old,” Musgraves sings. “And my compass says I’m getting close / But I don’t know / It’s hard to read.”
“Keep It to Yourself” was the fourth and final single from Same Trailer Different Park. The song is the anti-late night drunk text; rather, it’s a plea to an ex, asking him that, should he ever have second thoughts or start thinking he’s made a mistake, to keep it to himself. In other words, next time he’s in town, he shouldn’t be texting “u up?”
We’d love to know who made Musgraves this mad. The subject of this song “screwed everybody over in this town,” and the narrator delivers not-too-thinly veiled threats such as, “Keep running your mouth and stretchin’ the truth / You just might find a hole in your parachute.” While there are vicious jabs throughout, it might also be the gentlest, most pleasant-sounding fight song ever recorded.
“Silver Lining” is Same Trailer Different Park’s opener, and it sets the tone for the album with its first line: “Woke up on the wrong side of rock bottom.” Cheerful and mournful at the same time, and backed by a swing-y rhythm, it’s a perfect place to start.
“Blowin’ Smoke” plays like a love song to barbacks, waitresses and servers. The album’s second single perfectly captures the weariness of a restaurant worker on break, dreaming with her colleagues of getting out of a small town but knowing they're “just blowin’ smoke.” The song opens and closes with actual recordings of the ambient sounds of a Waffle House.
Musgraves employs gang vocals and electric guitar for this track, the loudest, most rock-tinged song on her debut disc. She pulls it off effortlessly, too, all but ensuring that you’ll spend the rest of the day singing, “Stupid / Love is stupid.”
While this song's chorus of -- "Make lots of noise / Kiss lots of boys / Or kiss lots of girls / If that's something you're into / When the straight and narrow gets a little too straight / Roll up a joint / Or don't / And follow your arrow wherever it points" -- stirred up some controversy from the typically more-conservative country audience, Musgraves told The Boot that “there's actually a lot less criticism towards that song than I imagined." The joyful celebration of following your own path because you can’t please everyone lands the 39th spot on Rolling Stone’s list 100 Greatest Songs of All Time.
Opening with a harmonica, “My House” is a pure love song to mobile-home living. It’s a track that makes perfect sense on an album called Same Trailer Different Park, but the love and carefree emotion that Musgraves uses to sing about the many upsides of a mobile life is something unexpected. She might just convince you that all you need is “water and electric and a place to drain the septic.”
There are a number of contenders for Same Trailer Different Park's best album, but “Merry Go Round” takes the top spot because it's the closest thing to its central thesis. With tight wordplay, a critical look at hometown hypocrisy and an easily sing-able chorus, “Merry Go Round” won the Grammys trophy for Best Country Song thanks to lyrics such as "Mama’s hooked on Mary Kay / Brother’s hooked on Mary Jane / And Daddy’s hooked on Mary two doors down,” which both drive the song and show Musgraves at her best.